Shopping could still be on Joey Barton’s agenda ... but not if Fleetwood Town’s youngsters keep up their blistering start under the new head coach.
Barton’s men are aiming to make it four pre-season wins from four against Hungarian side Zalaegerszeg TE in Tekli, near Budapest, tomorrow.
Town have netted 11 goals in their opening three games, most recently beating STK Fluminense Samorin 4-1 in the first game of their Hungarian tour.
Barton has given game-time to development squad players, including in-form striker Ashley Nadesan, who has scored twice.
The Gazette understands Fleetwood are keen to bring in another attacker, though look set to miss out on Preston’s Eoin Doyle to new League One rivals Sunderland.
Barton’s five summer signings have all been blooded – Tomny Spurr and Craig Morgan have added goals from defence, while Eddie Clarke and returning loanee Lewie Coyle have slotted in at full-back, with midfielder Jason Holt catching the eye with his set-piece deliveries.
And the head coach hinted further recruitment might not be needed if the youngsters continue to shine.
Barton said after last week’s win at Salford City: “I have to give the lads an opportunity to show me what they can do.
“They are showing me they can do it. If we carry on playing like that, there is no need to buy anyone!”
Ged Garner and last term’s first-team breakthrough kid Harrison Biggins have also found the scoresheet, while development squad players Lewis Baines, Billy Crellin, Harrison Holgate, Joe Maguire, Nathan Sheron and Matty Urwin have all featured.
And Barton has challenged those youngsters to give him a selection headache. He said: “They are training with us and doing well, so we have to create avenues for them to get senior experience. That might not always be in the league next year because we have a lot of senior boys who will want to take hold of the jersey and keep it.
“I believe if you get in the side and the side wins, it will automatically pick itself.
“The youngsters are coming and pushing hard, which is what we expect of them. They are really pleasing signs.
“Bainsey at left-back has done a good job. Nadders up front has nicked another goal and got a penalty.
“Not only are the first team lads responding to it but you can see the youngsters are trying to take the challenge on.
“The challenge is: can you get in the first team when our League campaign starts? A few of them are putting really good cases forward.”